Arshavin: Russia's team chemistry will take us to great heights at Euro 2012

The Zenit St Petersburg playmaker believes the depth of experience in the eastern European side means they can improve on their third-place finish four years ago
Russia's star attacker Andrey Arshavin hopes the collective experience and familiarity of the squad will help guide them to a strong Euro 2012 campaign.

The on-loan Zenit St Petersburg playmaker led the eastern European nation to their best ever finish at the European Championships at Euro 2008, when they defeated the Netherlands 3-1 before losing to Spain in the semi-finals.

"I know we've been criticsed a lot for that [losing to Spain], because it's been said that the team should be changing and the players are getting older," the 30-year-old told

"But there are advantages though, because we understand each other well and know each other. We're used to each other.

"But I still hope - as the coach does - that this time, we still have a few fresh players coming forward from the Russian championship. And without a doubt, if they play well, they'll also be invited to play in Euro 2012, because no team can live without being renewed."

Arshavin's performance in Austria and Switzerland four years ago made the big European clubs take notice, and in 2009 he signed with Arsenal from Zenit for an undisclosed fee.

The skillful forward feels that Russia can be the surprise package of this year's tournament.

"We gave an example that Russia could play football. And if we aspire to achieve, we can beat any team in any match.

"I hope that our example will serve as a good indicator for young players so that they can also have faith in themselves."

At Euro 2012, Russia face co-hosts Poland, 2004 winners Greece, and Czech Republic in Group A.